Jakub Janda did a Q&A with right-handed pitcher Leon Boyd of the Hoofdklasse club DOOR Neptunus.
- right handed pitcher
- born August 30, 1983 in Vancouver
- college ball, 2006 Belgian league, 2007 – 2008 DOOR Neptunus, 2009 – Blue Jays Minor League (Double A-ball), 2010 DOOR Neptunus
Jakub Janda: How was your stint in Belgium? What kind of experience did you get?
Leon Boyd: My season in Belgium was memorable, we came 2nd in the league, but I enjoyed every game, and made the most of every day playing with the Hoboken Pioneers. I lived with an outstanding family, and had the pleasure of playing with some awesome and amazing team mates.
JJ: You played in the Dutch Hoofdklasse. How was your time over there, how has the league improved you and what are your impressions after coming back there in 2010?
LB: My first 2 years in the Hoofdklasse were good. I didn’t know what to expect right away, but enjoyed the competition the first two years. Coming back, I needed to make a lot of adjustments in my own mechanics to get back to my old was of throwing (no longer submarine). I feel the changes have caught on, and seem to be working. I am doing the best I can this season, and my team has been playing very well behind me as usual.
JJ: You had an unbelievable 2009 World Baseball Classic. Please, tell us your experiences and your route to the two big upsets of the Dominican Republic.
LB: Our upsets against the Dominicans were amazing. It’s hard to describe how I feel, and how the whole week went, it was like a dream for us. I threw as well as I could, and it worked out. They are by far the most talented team I’ve ever faced, and everything worked out at the right time.
JJ: How was it, playing in the USA? Who of players you faced or met have you respected the most?
LB: Playing in the American Minor leagues was a very good experience. I learned so much about the whole minor league process, what it takes, and how much of a “meat market” it actually is. It was very eye opening for me. I played with and against some top prospects, and everyone has something helpful to say. The thing I learned the most about was the mental aspects of baseball, in Europe is very underrated.
JJ: Who is your baseball idol?
LB: I grew up a Seattle Mariners fan, and somewhat a Red Sox fan… So Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez were my idols growing up. I had the opportunity to meet Pedro during the WBC and talked to him for about 5 minutes. That was amazing. He is such a nice guy, very open, and I was so surprised to know that he knew who I was! He gave me some tips, and I will never forget his attitude and relaxed attitude towards pitching.
JJ: What kind of pitcher are you? Are you sidearming again? What speed has you ever reached?
LB: I am back to my old style for 3/4 arm slot pitching. The Blue Jays had be pitching submarine style all of last year, and that likely the reason I am back in Holland now, but it was a learning experience like I said. I regret nothing about switching to submarine; it’s good to have it in my arsenal now as a backup.
JJ: Are you joining the Dutch squad for the 2010 European Championship in Germany?
LB: I plan on joining the Dutch team for the HHW, and the ECH, but we have a competitive national team selection, and I take nothing for granted. I need to make the team first, and then look towards the games one game at a time. First things first, my next start in league play.
JJ: How do you see your future? On and off the field?
LB: My future is very up in the air. No idea about how much longer I’ll play. I have a wife, and I want to settle down back in Canada in the next few years, but who knows?!
Mister-Baseball thanks Leon Boyd and Jakub Janda for the interview.